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Children’s Minnesota physician receives Emerging Scientist Award from Children’s Cancer Research Fund

Children’s Minnesota is pleased to announced Dr. Nathan Gossai has received an Emerging Scientist Award (ESA) for 2021 from Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF). The award is a $100,000 grant designed to develop the independent research of exceptional investigators still early in their careers. CCRF selected Dr. Gossai for his proposal to develop new and better treatment options for children with relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

“I’m honored that Children’s Cancer Research Fund recognized the value of this research and its potential to help us make a real difference in the lives of kids and families facing a very challenging diagnosis,” said Dr. Gossai. “This funding from the Emerging Scientist Award gives us the opportunity to explore our ideas to advance the care and treatment of the amazing kids we serve.”

“Congratulations to Dr. Gossai on receiving this honor which provides important funding for his research to explore new treatment options for our patients,” said Dr. Stuart Winter, chief research officer at Children’s Minnesota and renowned pediatric hematologist-oncologist. “Research is vital to our commitment to advancing children’s health, and Dr. Gossai’s growing national reputation as a clinician-scientist helps to establish Children’s Minnesota as a state-of-the-art program in pediatric clinical oncology.”

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Dr. Gossai is the director of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Program in the Cancer and Blood Disorders clinic at Children’s Minnesota. The grant will help support Dr. Gossai’s work of formulating and leading the next Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia & Lymphoma (TACL) relapsed AML study. TACL is a cooperative research group that seeks to rapidly develop and carry out clinical trials of promising new drugs for children with a diagnosis of leukemia that recurs after the initial treatment is complete. Children’s Minnesota is one of the few hospitals in the Midwest where these clinical trials are available. Dr. Gossai and the team at Children’s Minnesota have developed a treatment plan for children who are at high risk for relapsed and refractory AML. An estimated 30 to 40 percent of patients with AML will have either a relapse or refractory disease and of those patients, historically, only 30 to 40 percent survive. The study will be shared with researchers at 25 TACL member hospitals. The Emerging Scientist Award grant will also support clinical research programmatic and regulatory logistics which are vital to the ongoing TACL capacities at Children’s Minnesota.

As one of the largest pediatric cancer and blood disorders program in the upper Midwest, Children’s Minnesota patients receive state-of-the-art treatments well before they are widely available. Ninety percent of patients are eligible to participate in clinical trials, placing Children’s Minnesota in the top 5 percent of Children’s Oncology Group institutions nationally and have some of the highest survival rates in the United States.

“Physicians and scientists early in their careers are bringing new approaches and innovation to cancer research. We believe that supporting these talented individuals is crucial to the development of better therapies and cures for children, and we’re proud to fund Dr. Gossai’s work for AML patients,” said Daniel Gumnit, CEO at Children’s Cancer Research Fund.